Crews Work To Find Sandy Debris Before It Reaches Shore - KMSP-TV

Crews Work To Find Sandy Debris Before It Reaches Shore

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People trying to find relief from the heat are heading down the shore this weekend.

And, from the looks of things, some people have already ducked out of work and headed down for some relaxation.

But what about all that debris from Hurricane Sandy that's still in the water? There have been a few reports of it still washing ashore this summer.

Crews are using some pretty high-tech equipment to make sure families are safe, FOX 29's Stephanie Esposito reported Friday night from Seaside Heights.

Like most of our Jersey Shore towns, Seaside Heights is a barrier island. So when Sandy hit, the whole thing was under water and debris was pushed all around – into the ocean and into the bay. Most of it is cleaned up now in the ocean, but the bay has some more work to be done.

"I was a little bit nervous about what would be in the water with the wood and the pier being ripped up and the metal," said beachgoer Judy Spadafora.

Superstorm Sandy ravaged the Jersey coastline, leaving behind tons of debris. So before Spadafora let her kids in the ocean this year, they had a talk.

"She said that we had to beware of what was in the water, like with the wood and the metal, so that we wouldn't cut our feet or anything," her daughter said.

The Department of Environmental Protection says contractors removed 86,000 cubic-yards of debris from the shores and bays. They fly down the coast checking for debris six days a week and run a sonar down the coast weekly. The same sonar was used in Seaside before they pulled out a roller coaster from the ocean.

"Our lifeguards train every day in the water, so they're checking the sand bars as they're training," said Chief Jay Boyd, of the Seaside Heights Beach patrol.

Most of the big stuff had been located and pulled from the ocean but the bay is a little more complicated.

"The problem that exists now is smaller items that you're not gonna pick up with a crane. You need more of a sieve or, you know, a hand-on effort," said Britta Wenzel, executive director of Save Barnegat Bay.

Back to the ocean, there are still rides missing from the pier, but they haven't been detected along the coast.

"They just now had stuff washing up on their beaches from the tsunami in Japan, so it's amazing. I'm sure people are going to be getting some of our rides," said Michael Graichen, of Seaside Heights public relations.

Maybe, but most people were t worried about it.

"I've been sitting in the water with my chair and my kids of been in the water, and I've only seen little pieces of bark – nothing different than we normally see," one woman said.

"As the tide shifts, wind changes, things will break loose," Wenzel said. "It's not a perfect science. You know, we've tried to get out mostly what we can get out, but it's going to be continuously exposed as things change in nature."

What you're supposed to do is use a little common sense. Don't swim in places where there aren't lifeguards. And if you're going to go into the bay, wear some sort of watershoes or old sneakers because you just never know.

Lifeguards in Seaside Heights say they don't have any reported injuries from people getting hurt on debris, and they also have no reports of any large pieces of debris washing ashore, Esposito reported.

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